Huet, who got his first Montreal shutout in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Boston, made 25 saves to win consecutive games for the first time since March 9-10, 2004, when he was with Los Angeles and swept the Phoenix Coyotes in back-to-back games.
The 30-year-old Frenchman posted his sixth career shutout while making his third straight start since replacing struggling starter Theodore in three of the Canadiens’ previous four games.
“That’s what I’m here for,” Huet said. “We have two goalies and when needed, we’ve got to step up and do the job. The matter is to help the team right now, that’s what we need.”
Huet lowered his goals-against-average to 2.47, and his save percentage to .926, while improving his record to 5-5-1 in 14 games. Theodore, the 2001-02 league MVP, is 17-15-5 with a 3.46 goals-against-average and an .881 save percentage.
The consecutive shutouts were the first by a Montreal goalie since Theodore accomplished the feat Feb. 5 and 7, 2002 with a pair of 1-0 wins in New Jersey and over Pittsburgh, respectively.
“We gave him a pretty easy night,” Flyers forward Turner Stevenson said. “When I look down and he’s stretching halfway through the game because he’s only seen 11 shots, you know, we made it pretty easy on him. You could have put basically anybody in net and we never really had anything until the third period.”
Ryder scored on a power play midway through the first, ending a personal seven-game goal drought in the process. He added his second of the game just 40 seconds into the third to put the Canadiens up 3-0 and got his third goal—his team-leading 23rd—on a 5-on-3 advantage at 16:52.
“Since it was my first one the guys hit me on the head a couple of times and I don’t know if I’ve got a concussion,” Ryder said of the hat trick celebration that prompted about a dozen fans to toss baseball caps on the ice. “It’s kind of cool to get it under my belt.”
Philadelphia, playing with an injury-decimated lineup, lost its third in a row and has lost five of six (1-4-1).
“It was disappointment more than frustration,” Flyers captain Derian Hatcher said.
Already playing without Peter Forsberg, Keith Primeau, Eric Desjardins and Kim Johnsson, the Flyers lost defenseman Mike Rathje to a groin strain during the game after losing Petr Nedved and Chris Therrien to injury Saturday.
Nedved left the Flyers’ 4-3 overtime loss to the New York Rangers with a groin injury and Therrien also left the game because of an undisclosed head injury.
Montreal has played a pair of home matinees during Super Bowl weekend every season since 1990-91. The weekend sweep improved the Canadiens’ record in those games to 15-9-4 overall.
Ryder, who hadn’t scored since reaching 20 goals in a 6-2 loss in Vancouver on Jan. 21, scored his 21st goal 11:14 in when he put Saku Koivu’s pass beyond Antero Niitymaki on the first power-play opportunity of the game.
Bulis, who scored a career-high four goals in a 5-3 win in Philadelphia last month, got his 14th of the season 10:42 into the second as the result of a turnover in the Flyers’ zone.
Tomas Plekanec intercepted rookie Philadelphia defenseman Freddy Meyers’ clearing pass at the blue line and drove to the net, dishing off a pass to Bulis, who beat Niitymaki with a quick shot after Meyers collided with Plekanec.
“My performance today was unacceptable,” Meyers said.
Steve Begin made a fine pass to set up Montreal’s third goal early in the third as Ryder steered the puck into an open right side.
Souray got his fifth of the season at 6:23 to make it 4-0 before Ryder scored his third of the game with 3:08 left in the third.
The Flyers have lost three and tied two while taking part in five games over the course of Montreal’s 15 Super Bowl matinee weekends. … Philadelphia was 0-for-5 on the power play. Montreal was 2-for-6. … The Canadiens have three shutouts this season, though none by Theodore. Rookie Yann Danis got the shutout in his NHL start Oct. 12, a 2-0 win in Atlanta. … The Canadiens are 4-1 at home under Gainey, who moved behind the bench after firing head coach Claude Julien on Jan. 14. … Montreal has sold out each of its 25 home games.